Four Books, Four Beaches

So, I have four days left on the island and plan to spend a good deal of it at the beach. I went to the library today to check out any/all books that I deemed beach worthy. (There wasn't much to choose from. Note to self, bring fiction for next term.)

So far I'm half way through Toni Morrison's "Tar Baby" which is set on a Caribbean island, go figure! I also checked out "Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant", "The Hours" and Michel J. Fox's memoir, "Lucky Man". My goal is to read each one on a different beach. I didn't make it to the beach today (I was too tired from my hike to the Seven Sisters Waterfalls, details to follow in subsequent post) but I did find a hammock in walking distance of a nice view of Blacksand Beach. So I'm going to count that as #1.


A little help from my friends

This post is dedicated to some of my friends and favorite people: FU, the Gypsy, Miss P, and Classic Rock  (you know who you are!)

So, I made it. Term 1 is officially over and we are 2nd termers!  Only 1.5 years of basic sciences left. And then 2 years of clinicals and then 3-5 years of residency, and then an optional fellowship. But who's counting? Term 1 is history and that is all that matters at the moment.

Friday was a blur. We took anatomy, reminisced over beers and then went to Club Bananas for dancing and really good fries (thanks Classic Rock.) Yesterday was low key, packing, putting things in storage, dinner at the local Prickly Bay Waterside. I'm here for another week and plan to enjoy the island but my favorite people are soon leaving me day by day to go home. However we did have one final hurrah. And as we sat around last night I had to think back to orientation. I love my class, I love my friends and term 1 wouldn't have been as fun or as palatable without them. Bring on term 2! (After a nice summer at home that is.)

Was term 1 difficult? Yes, because it was hard to know how to study. And it was hard to study all the time. It was terrifying and boring and interesting and exciting, depending on the subject and professor and a million other factors that changes by the moment. But thanks to my favorite people and our many study dates and non-study dates (thanks FU) and DES and BRS and lots and lots of studying I think I might sort of have the hang of this med school business after all. But not without a little help from my friends.


Final Thoughts

So, finals week is here. I just took my biochem exam and have histo and anatomy to go.  It is amazing that the term will be over on Friday, sometimes it seems like I just got here. One of my study partners and friends shared this video on Faceboook. Its entertaining and what's more, I think I really did learn 99% of the things in the video this term. Kind of amazing when you think about it. I'll have more to share after finals are over, for now I must go study so I can kick histo butt tomorrow. Enjoy! 


Grandma- death on her own terms

My grandmother just passed away. I have been wearing her pearl earrings since I learned that she decided to leave the hospital on Tuesday. She made the decision herself,  she said she was sick of tests and sick of fighting and she wanted to be left alone.  And because she was unable to eat and in a state of organ failure her family and doctors were able to respect her wishes... She was discharged to hospice care and was at my Aunt's house for only three days. This is what she wanted.  And as sad as I am by her passing I am grateful that her death was on her own terms. 

My grandmother lived a full life and in the end her body simply gave out. She buried a son during Vietnam and lost her husband to prostate cancer 13 year ago. This past year she had a stroke and when I went to visit her during rehab she was as practical and independent as ever. Over the last few years she sold her house when she could no longer walk up and down the stairs. She sold me her car when she could no longer turn the steering wheel due to her arthritis. After her stroke she moved to California and resided in a house with 4 other women and a full time aide until recently. 

My grandmother was a strong woman. I will miss her. I spent many a college break at her house, debating the merits of pursuing medicine. I can remember the exact moment that I decided I wanted to be doctor. I was in her living room.  My grandmother was always encouraging but never sentimental. She would tell me to study for my upcoming exams and to quit crying. And so I will go study but I will be thinking of her. Her death was on her own terms but still she will be missed, and so in memory of my grandmother I leave you with another's words.
No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manner of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

- John Donne